The Irish Times reports that Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, Dr Zion Evrony postponed a planned appearance at an Oireachtas committee today to answer questions about the aid flotilla controversy, citing “unforeseen circumstances”.
However it also reports today that a leaked report from an inter-agency group including the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Justice, the Department of the Taoiseach and the Garda has recommended the expulsion of an Israeli embassy security officer. It made the recommendation after concluding that Israel forged Irish passports used by suspects in the murder of a Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, the senior Hamas military commander killed in Dubai in January.
The online edition of the IT also reveals that there are currently only two Israeli nationals operating as security officers within the Dublin embassy, and that Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin is expected to bring the proposal to the Cabinet that it act on the recommendation .
The Irish Times claims that the recommendation arose following the consideration of two reports from the Garda and the Passport Service, but states that Martin is expected to wait until the week after next before bringing it to the Cabinet to put distance between the matter and the fallout from the ‘freedom flotilla’.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said;
“The Minister is determined that such action as decided by the Government be seen as a clear and targeted response to the very serious issue of the misuse of Irish passports and that it not be confused with reaction to any other international incident. He will time his statement on the misuse of passports accordingly.”
Evrony is believed to be aware of the plan, which may have lead to his withdrawal from the Oireachtas meeting. The finding has undoubtedly added pressure to diplomatic relations between Ireland and Israel with public pressure growing on the Irish Government to take action against Israel after the flotilla killings. However at the forefront of the minds of the Irish Government will be the MV Rachel Corrie, which continues to sail toward Gaza, directly into confrontation with the IDF.